Top defence ensures win

TWO Nikola Kuleski stunners have helped Sydney Olympic emerge 2-1 victors over Manly United in a pulsating encounter at Cromer Park on Sunday afternoon.

In a match where the stakes were high, both sides took their time to grow into the contest resulting in a tight, scrappy first period.
The contest sprung to life two minutes after the interval as Kuleski produced a goal of the season contender from long range.
Manly equalised courtesy of a Brendan Cholakian set piece 20 minutes later, however they were only level for a matter of moments as Kuleski curled in another screamer on the 70-minute mark.
The hosts found themselves in the ascendancy for extended periods of the match, however were left frustrated by a heroic defensive showing from the champions.
There was no shortage of late drama as a last-gasp equaliser from substitute Charles Mendy was eventually scratched out for offside after a heart-stopping few minutes of deliberation by the officials.
Six minutes of stoppage time were eventually brought to a halt, and Olympic secured a priceless three points to tighten their stranglehold on an all-important top five position, breaking Manly hearts in the process.
Olympic head coach Abbas Saad was elated with his side’s resistance which secured them a crucial three points in the finals race.
“It was a hard-fought win,” he said
“Both teams were desperate for three points, and both units defended really well.
“It took three quality goals to open things up.
“There weren’t many chances from open play, but it was end-to-end and very competitive.
“It could have gone either way, but I was happy that there was a bit of luck on our side for a change.
“Maybe a draw was a fair result, but we worked hard for the win.”